: blame it on corn sweat :

It’s a real, honest-to-goodness thing. Corn, the kind that grows on tall, spindly stalks in endless rows of dirt, sweats. It stands quietly in the sunshine exhaling water into the atmosphere through a process called evapotranspiration. Less scientific types call it corn sweat. 

One measly acre of ripening corn (there are millions in Illinois) can release 4,000 gallons of water every day, which is enough to fill a residential swimming pool in under a week. All that sweating raises the humidity, making summer heat feel more oppressive and muggy. The temperature may be 93º, but the heat index — a measure of how hot it feels taking humidity into account — says it’s 104º. The UV index, meanwhile, is 9, Very High, and a heat advisory is in effect.

So what do I do? 

I plant myself in the blistering sunshine and happily absorb every molecule of heat I can hold. I become, for all intents and purposes, a human solar panel. Squirrels collect and store acorns to survive winter; I collect and store sunshine with the same single-minded purpose. The dog and I stroll and scamper along sunny sides of the street only, we lounge at bus stops and on benches, we lift our faces to the sun and sigh in contentment. We ♥️ summer.

Of course, I sweat, too, but not like corn. I sweat like Rudy Giuliani, minus the hair dye, and I never carry a handkerchief. Instead, I mop my face with my t-shirt sleeves. Strangers offer me bottled water, offer to help me across the street, ask if I’m all right, give me curious looks, and I carry on. Until I see my reflection in a window. My hair’s wet, my face is dark red — I’m a walking heat stroke warning. So we relent, the dog and I, and we come home. 

A cool shower, dry clothes, and I’m fine. The dog, no, she glares from her bed in silent, but unmistakable, resentment. I feel guilty, of course, but I’ll bet I collected enough heat to carry me comfortably through November. Another week or two of this weather and I’ll breeze through winter. That, my friends, is the power of delusional thinking.

copyright © 2022 the whirly girl

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